I think a persons life without contemplation could be

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I think a person’s life without contemplation could be all right, but not great or very fulfilling. It seems that without contemplation a person would miss out on some very important things. As a Christian, contemplation is an important element of my life. Often when I read the Bible or hear certain sermons I am forced to contemplate. I may not understand all of God’s messages but I try to “allow myself to see” whatever offers itself “to my vision” (26). Although there are times when I rebel and question God’s existence because of personal disappointment, I realize upon contemplation how real God is. Some people may be fine to live their lives without contemplation, but I know it is necessary for me to have a reason to keep living. Journal 5 and 6 Assignment Wednesday, August 4, 2010 It is difficult to completely agree with Thoreau on the issue of civil disobedience, as his stance seems to advocate taking extreme measures. He was willing to go to jail for not paying taxes to a government which supported slavery and the Mexican War. However, neither I nor many other Americans are probably willing to go to jail because we don’t support the war in Afghanistan. This attitude is one Thoreau criticizes when he writes, “There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to an end to them” ( The Portable Thoreau 115). Immediately, I began to try to defend myself against this criticism. It is not that I usually do nothing, but that I am not sure what I can do. However, I don’t know how true this is. I guess I just shake my head at things that I see that are wrong and feel morally sound because even if I do nothing to right a wrong, at least I mentally condemn it. Thoreau writes that “it is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong” (117). However, he goes on to say that “it is his duty, at
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least, to wash his hands of it” and “not to give it practically his support” (117). I am not quite sure what this entails, but it makes me think it is not simply shaking one’s head at wrong and that I should more firmly stand behind what I believe in. Civil disobedience has helped eradicate and lessen too many injustices in the U.S. and elsewhere for me to disagree that it is needed. While it took a war to end slavery, it would take much longer for African Americans and other minorities to enjoy full rights and privileges as American citizens. The realization of those rights and privileges came as a result of actions such as those of the Civil Rights Movement. This movement utilized civil disobedience in the form of marches, sit-ins and boycotts. The obvious evils of racism and discrimination made civil disobedience necessary during a certain period, but what about now? According to Thoreau, everyone believes that a revolution is necessary when the government’s “tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable” (113). However, it does not seem now that this is the case. The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan does not come across as a great injustice. After all,
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Christopher Reinemann
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